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Google Webmaster Hangout Notes: November 1st 2019

SEO and digital marketing industry news

Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangout on the 1st of November 2019.

Google Omits Pages from Search Results if Multiple Versions of Same Result Are Found

The ‘show omitted results’ link in the search results is shown when there are multiple results that would display the same snippet or preview. Google does this as it doesn’t make sense to show users the exact same snippet multiple times for different pages.


404 or 410 Status Codes Will Not Impact a Website’s Rankings

If Google identifies 404 or 410 pages on a site, it will continue to crawl these pages in case anything changes, but will begin to phase out the crawling frequency to concentrate more on the pages which return 200 status codes.


Use View Source or Inspect Element to Ensure Hidden Content is Readily Accessible in the HTML

If you have content hidden behind a tab or accordion, John recommends using the view source or inspect element tool to ensure the content is in the HTML by default. Content pre-loaded on the HTML will be treated as normal content on the page, however, if it requires an interaction to load, Google will not be able to crawl or index it.


Social Media Likes Are Not Used by Google as a Ranking Signal

Google doesn’t use social signals, such as Facebook likes, as a ranking signal for websites. This is because it can be hard for them to keep up with the signals as the pages change so frequently.


Google May Crawl Parameter URLs Set to Crawl: None in the Parameter Handling Tool in GSC

Google may still crawl parameter URLs, even if you set the parameter to crawl: none in GSC. If you want to ensure the URLs never get crawled John recommends using the robots.txt file instead.


Having Canonical Tags Set For Parameter URLs Helps Google Understand Connections Between Pages

Google tries to figure out the canonical URL for parameter pages that are included in the GSC parameter handling tool, so they may crawl these pages to identify, understand and learn the canonical set up and connection.


Rich Snippets Only Displayed in Search Results if Required Conditions Are Met

Google will only show rich snippet results if the required conditions are met. This includes ensuring the markup is technically correct, which you can confirm using a testing tool, as well as making sure it is logically correct. The final requirement is ensuring the website contains quality content so that Google can trust the information that is being provided.


It is Normal For Old URLs To Still be Visible in Search Results After Performing a Domain Migration

When performing a domain migration, it’s perfectly normal for pages from the old domain to still appear in the search results. However, it is likely the cached page is already seen as the new domain URL, as Google will identify that the old URL is an alternate version of the new one. John does not recommend using the URL removal tool for this as it won’t provide a long-term fix, it will just hide the URLs in search results.


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Ruth Everett

Technical SEO

Ruth Everett is a data & insights manager at Code First Girls, and a former technical SEO analyst at Lumar. You'll most often find her helping clients improve their technical SEO, writing about all things SEO, and watching videos of dogs.


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